Robert Beamish

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Robert Beamish
Born Robert Earl Beamish
(1916-09-16)September 16, 1916
Shoal Lake, Manitoba
Died February 17, 2001(2001-02-17) (aged 84)
Occupation cardiologist
Awards Order of Canada
Order of Manitoba

Robert Earl Beamish, CM OM (September 16, 1916 – February 17, 2001) was a Canadian physician and cardiologist.

Born in Shoal Lake, Manitoba, the son of Henry and Mary May (McLeod) Beamish, Beamish graduated with a B.A. from Brandon College in 1937 and an M.D. from the University of Manitoba in 1942. He served in Canada with the Royal Canadian Military Corps from 1944 to 1946, retiring with the rank of Captain. From 1947 to 1948, he studied in London after being awarded a Nuffield Dominion Travelling Fellowship.

Upon returning to Canada, Beamish began his efforts to have the study and treatment of heart disease established as a legitimate field of medical specialty in Canada. He pioneered the idea that by lowering cholesterol the risk of heart disease was significantly lowered.

He served as a physician and cardiologist at the University of Manitoba, the Winnipeg Health Sciences Centre and the Manitoba Clinic, where he established the department of cardiology. In 1970, he joined the Great West Life Assurance Co., becoming Vice President, Underwriting and Medical. He was appointed Professor Emeritus of the University of Manitoba in 1989 and received honorary degrees from Brandon University and the University of Manitoba.

He was a Founding Director of the Manitoba Heart Foundation and served on its Medical Committee for over 30 years. He was also chairman of the Medical Advisory Committee of the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada from 1970 to 1972. He was President of both the Manitoba Medical Association and the Manitoba College of Physicians and Surgeons.

He is the co-author of Manitoba Medicine: A Brief History (1999, ISBN 0-88755-660-4).

In 1990 he was made a Member of the Order of Canada. In 2000 he was awarded the Order of Manitoba.

In 1943, he married Mary Kathleen Weekes. They had three daughters: Catherine (born 1949), Judith (born 1953) and Mary Anne (born 1955).